Colombian Priest Kidnappers Demand Ransom

Manila, Philippines - A video of a missionary kidnapped in the southern Philippines could be the first proof he is still alive.

78-year Michael Sinnott, a Colombian priest, appeared holding a local newspaper dated October 22.

In the video he says his kidnappers are demanding a 2 million U.S. dollar ransom.

He also called on the country's president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for help.

[Father Michael Sinnott, Colombian Priest]:

"I am told that the one who is the leader of the group who kidnapped me is Abu Jamdal. He's asking for a ransom of 2 million U.S. dollars. I ask the help firstly of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Philippine and Irish governments and my companions in the society of St. Columban, and all the other persons who may have pity to (inaudible) on me to help so that I can get out of here as soon as possible."

Sinnott goes on to say he is in good health but living in the open under difficult circumstances.

A government spokesman said local officials have agreed not to pay any ransom.

The country's largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has offered to help free the priest.

They have sought permission to deploy its guerillas in the area where he is believed to be held.

Gunmen kidnapped the priest more than three weeks ago while walking in the garden of the missionary house on the Zamboanga peninsula.

The abductors burned their getaway van before boarding a boat to escape.